Getting Lost in Cádiz, South Spain

I heard word of another tiny place on the coast of south Spain called Cádiz. Located on an isolated peninsula surrounded by ocean. But to be honest, you only have to whisper the word ‘coast’ and ‘beach’ to me and instantly it’s my next want destination. Located a mere ninety minutes away from Sevilla, I decided it was the perfect place to spend a night as I was having severe beach withdrawals since leaving Lagos.

Image from enjoycadizgolf.com

Driving along the bridge and onto the narrow peninsula, Cádiz feels quite isolated from the rest of Spain. It’s considered one of the oldest ancient cities still standing in western Europe and retains the old original ship port. I wandered through the maze of old town streets to my hostel to check in and headed straight to the beach. Lying in warm sun listening to children playing in the water felt amazing and super relaxing. My tan is looking pretty great too.

My lunch which was steamed potato topped with garlic mayonnaise and octopus (YUM)

Then strolling back to the hostel via a different route, I got a little lost. I hadn’t taken my iPhone (with my maps app) with me to the beach as I feel the less valuable stuff at the beach, the better. Stuff does have a habit of disappearing at beaches even if you are careful. Side note: Have I ever mentioned how paranoid I am about having my stuff stolen? I’m sure anyone who travels with me would notice my paranoia pretty quick. I also hadn’t bothered to pick up a paper map as the Cádiz peninsula is only 1.2km wide, so surely there isn’t that much city to get lost in? Two hours later I eventually managed to find my hostel which was a bit of a relief as Mother Nature was calling pretty strongly by then. I wasn’t panicked about it at all and I managed to find some fantastic photographic opportunities which I wouldn’t have found without getting lost. But I feel that remembering the name of my hostel and the street might have helped me get there faster rather than just a vague memory of how the outside looked.

Heading to the beach

Strolling out onto the long old port walkway. I found it just beautiful with the evening sun. If you look at the first photo in this post, this walkway is the long thin string-like part connecting what looks like an island at the bottom of the photo

Looking back towards the beach I spent the afternoon on and an old Cádiz fortress

Dazzling

Looking back, you can see the newer part of Cádiz in the distance

Some more dazzle. I also think I’m addicted to how the vintage filter on my camera makes shots like this turn out

Gazing back through some blue flowers towards Cádiz again

A view I found while I was lost. Unknown to me, I was nearly back at my hostel!

After a surprisingly good sleep in the comfy bed of my hostel, I spent the morning looking at local modern art as well as the Cádiz archaeology museum. Then I decided it was time to head back to Sevilla for my final night there.

I was leaving pretty early the next morning in order to head back to Portugal to Lisbon. Lisbon is actually surprisingly hard to get to from Sevilla. I assume this is due to there being a bunch of mountains in the way. My options for getting there were:

  • by train over 22 hours with multiple changes via Madrid,
  • an overnight bus for €50 (which would have equalled no sleep with being a light sleeper and terrible at sleeping while being vertical),
  • flying (the most expensive option unless planned quite far in advance),
  • or something called Blablacar (a.k.a rideshare).

I chose option D – Blablacar which was the fastest and cheapest option at about €20 driving directly from Sevilla to Lisbon.

For those not in the know, Blablacar.com is a European website where the overall idea is organised paid-hitchhiking. If you are driving somewhere, have empty seats in your car, then you can advertise those seats on this website and find people willing to pay to fill those seats for a price that you set. And visa versus for if you don’t have a car but are looking for a way to get from A to B cheaply (it’s much cheaper than taking a bus or train). The price of the seats is quite strictly governed by the website in that it is not something you can make money from unless you have a van with multiple seats. The value of each seat has a max setting of a third of the estimated price of petrol for that particular trip. It is a fantastic idea and such an economical way of getting around. I’m pretty sure New Zealand doesn’t have anything like this yet.

Of course there are risks involved such as the fact you cannot guarantee what the driver of the vehicle will be like, and I’m sure you can imagine many more potential risks. You can choose non-smoking cars though which I liked. The website allows ratings of drivers and passengers, as well as a critique of driving ability which is hidden from the driver to encourage an honest review, so you can be quite choosey about who you try to get a ride with.

My organised ride was picking me up at 7am in the morning so I headed back to Sevilla on the bus, ready to try and fall asleep early with the noise of the still ongoing Semana Santa festival outside.

Where I stayed: La Casa Morada
Price: €15 in a 4 bed dorm
Overall: This hostel was so new that it had no ratings on hostelworld yet so I took a little bit of a risk booking it. The hostel was okay. All the beds, pillows and duvets were brand new which meant they were still fluffy and super cosy (giving me a great night of sleep). But there weren’t any homey touches yet in the hostel like decorations on the walls or couches in the common area. There wasn’t an official reception area set up yet so the paying for accommodation and passport scanning took place in my dorm room which felt a little weird. But with time the hostel will get better I feel.

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